Last Resort

I haven’t memorized a number in years. Staring at the ceiling as if one’ll slowly, like a feather, fall into my hands I dialed the only one I knew.

Dad? I need some help.

After confessing my whereabouts, he came but would not speak. In the car, words were replaced with heavy sighs while I attempted to replay the nights events in my polluted brain.

How did I get there?

…Where are we going?

He pulled into a treatment center, the same one I’d made repetitive false promises about.

“You asked for help. Go, or I will tell your mother.”

phone-booth-jhc
PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

This was written in response to: Friday FictioneersThe objective is to challenge yourself to write a 100 word (or less) story that is influenced by a single photo. To read other submissions written for this photo, or to submit your own: click HERE.

Awkward.

 

How different growing up would have been had I known that awkward could be an asset. More often than not I was the kid standing in a group, pretending to know what’s going on.

I was, and still am, an overly-excessively-insanely-analytical person; it’s easy to get wrapped up in one particular moment while life goes on around you. Quickly, the state of mind changes when you wake up from your thoughts and see one, two or three people waiting impatiently for a reaction to something you 100% missed while off in analytical-la-la land.

The overthinking shenanigans is where I believe the awkward roots planted themselves deep within me.

There is a logical explanation as to why my father’s mantle of pictures include my younger sister’s tennis photo, my brother’s football picture, my older sister’s cheerleading picture… and my prom picture.

I tried lots of sports, but as soon as they made me run, which was always before the team photos, I’d quit. I joined track thinking I could just do the shot-put. I joined swimming… and they still made me run. Had I put forth the effort I probably could have been at least decent at something. Growing up awkward I was consumed by opinions of others. What happens when the clumsy girl totally fucks it all up?

So, instead of trying I silently willed and chanted:

please don’t come to me

please don’t come to me

please don’t come to me

please don’t come to me

please don’t come to me

…Whenever there was a chance I’d have to participate.

Don’t get me started about running a mile in gym class, or the standardized physical fitness testing. Yes, I did awkwardly hang on the pull-up bar and climbing rope and no, I did not even try.

mindy
Proof that Mindy Kahling is my awkward soul sister.

Everyone goes through an awkward stage (or three) and others just have awkward woven into their genes. The perks of those come later in life, after you’ve had the chance to outgrow the inner thoughts that lead you to believe every person is harshly critical and making note of every last flaw.

I learned while trying to figure out adulthood that inappropriate wit and quick comebacks have the power to turn awkward from weird to likable. I have grown into this mess of weird thoughts and klutzy movements. The best part is that my decent amount of awkward tendencies no longer make me uncomfortable. I want to over analyze. I want to stare at people all weird and wonder how I can incorporate them into a story. Lacking a filter, unapologetically, is something I’d like to stick around well into my 90’s.

I’ve been scribbling down and compiling my most embarrassing, outlandish awkward memories and realized my school days, and even my thirty-somethings are a giant compilation of, That-Awkward-Moment-When memes.

Stories for days.

book cover
Awkward: A Memoir – Coming Soon

 

 

 

 

Daily Post Prompt: Toot Your Horn: Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.

Dear Writer’s Block

It’s not you, it’s me. Is that how these things are supposed to start? Unfortunately, for me, I’ve come to the rotten realization that it’s impossible to rid you from my life forever. You’ll always find a way to creep into my world and consume me with your nothingness.

Am I doing something to make you think I like you?! How long is it physically possible to sit and stare at a blinking cursor before you go completely bat-shit crazy? These are real questions, Writer’s Block… the least you can do is tell me, so I can try to stay sane as long as possible.

Are you aware of the shit you do to me? Do you have any idea? To avoid going nuts, I attempt to occupy myself by surfing the web aimlessly; it seems so normal but before I know it I’m analyzing my friend’s, ex-husband’s, new wife’s Facebook page. Why?! You turn me into some weird creep and I don’t like who I become when you’re around.

How it’s even possible for nothing, like you, to simply erase every amazing idea I’ve been repeating obsessively for hours?

Well, maybe you should have written them down…

Now I’m talking for you. You are officially driving me effing bonkers. I can’t write a single sentence for my book, but I can create inner-dialogue for nothing.

#!*$&@%

That’s how I feel right now; for some reason actual words escaped me  – weird, right? I hate it when that happens. Listen, I promise if you go away and let a girl get some work done, I will stop putting words in your made up, hypothetical mouth. Deal?

Please don’t make me beg. 

I will seriously take two [insert any expletive of your choice] days……..

I will give you my SOUL if you’ll allow me to finish National Novel Writing Month with something that at least… sorta-kinda resembles a novel of sorts. That’s super vague and totally in your favor, not to mention my soul is pretty great. Whatever you want, Writer’s Block.

The ball is in your court [like it always fucking is…].

Jen


Writers Digest: The Writing Prompt Boot Camp: Day One

Breaking Up With Writer’s Block

More Food Less Flowers

Most people females would be delighted at the sight of a huge bouquet of flowers awaiting their arrival.

Surprise!

They’d pick them up and proceed to bury their face into the overgrown blossoming buds, take an exaggerated whiff and end the transaction with a soft, pleasant smile. Me? I’d stand about 5 feet away, one eyebrow arched and wonder who they are supposed to be for; Brandin wouldn’t do that.

My husband enjoys the instant gratification of handing me flowers, besides… I’m not super keen on them. I’d rather have food; he knows snacks and treats are better than a bunch of flowers that are going to die (mostly because after the initial feeding of the white powder, I’ll never water them again). Worse yet, they’ll die and stay put in the vase longer than they should.

Food is just better.

These flowers, wildflowers, tulips, roses (which I dislike most of all)…however you’d like to picture them: go imagination crazy. There’s no card. No explanation of who they could be from or for?  I have to assume this hypothetical bouquet was left by mistake. If you’re leaving flowers with no correspondence attached, they are fair game…

…so, I’d take them and enjoy them.

The unfortunate thing is, every time I looked at them I’d wonder if some guy is bitter that his lady friend didn’t guess they were from him. He’s probably not wanting to mention it to the intended recipient in fear of coming across like a complete douchebag.

So, uh… you never said anything about the flowers.

Obviously it wasn’t done for the recognition – otherwise he would have left a card or hand delivered them! Who just leaves a bouquet of flowers sitting out with no direction? Seriously…what an idiot.

Later, in this hypothetical day I’m having, my husband would come home from work and I’d begin spouting off about what kind of a person leaves flowers with no card? I’d go on and on and on until he couldn’t take it anymore.

Then, I’d apologize because they were indeed from my husband and I ruined yet another surprise.

That is the story of our married life.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Secret Admirers.”

[You return home to discover a huge flower bouquet waiting for you, no card attached. Who is it from — and why did they send it to you?]

Could Be Worse [Friday Fictioneers]

PHOTO PROMPT -© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
PHOTO PROMPT -© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

I knew this place would be a dump.

Be grateful there’s a place at all… sleep out in the rain if you want.

It’s not my fault we’re in this godawful situation, but her tone always implies otherwise.

I rested my unwashed head and couldn’t help but wonder if the overripe stench was me or this questionable pillow. Fighting it, my eyes shifted in the direction of my mother; watching her body sob silently, I drifted.

I love you, kid.

I heard it, I’m just not sure if it was real or if I was dreaming.

Goodnight.


This flash fiction entry was written in response to Friday Fictioneers.
The objective of Friday Fictioneers is to challenge yourself to write a 100 word or less story that is influenced by a single photo. If you’d like to learn more and/or participate, click on the photo prompt above.
fridayfictionlinkpic